U2 is set to play Manila — Bulacan, actually — on Wednesday, December 11, and the band is set to use Fil-Am poet and novelist Bino A. Realuyo's poem about Filipino maids in Europe, “Filipineza.”
According to a press statement received by GMA News Online, the band had asked Realuyo for permission to feature and project his poem on the screen, to give the audience something to reflect on, pre-show.
"I received an email from a representative that works with the band a week ago. I thought it was spam," Realuyo told GMA News Online on email.
But because the email "specifically mentioned my poem, 'Filipineza' gave me a clue that this might be legit. I did a bit a cross checking online before I responded," he continued.
Adding that the process went by quickly.
"Filipineza" is a poem that talks about the plight of Filipino maids in Europe. It opens Realuyo’s first collection of poetry, the award-winning “The Gods We Worship.”
Since the US 2017 leg of the The Joshua Tree Tour, the band has used poetry as a prologue to the show.
“I am humbled and moved,” Realuyo said. “I hope the poems serve their purpose for inclusion – as points of reflection for those who attend the concert, and in the case of my poem ‘Filipinez’ to warn us about the dark side and perils of the Filipino diaspora,” the New York based poet said.
"More than anything, I believe in the human rights aspect of my inclusion. U2 is not only a great band, but also a voice for human rights in the problematic world we live in."
According to Realuyo, another Filipino-American poet, Nick Carbo who is based in Texas, also received an inquiry from the band.
“Filipineza” was first published in the “The Nation.” Read it here. — LA, GMA News